AS in the past, Dublin’s stinted mare class often proves to be the one to provide the broodmare champion and the same proved true last Saturday when Dessie Gibson’s Pink Flamingo won the Coote Cup.

Shown by David Alcorn for her popular Co Down owner, the three took their place in Sunday’s parade of champions in the main arena.

“My father won the Coote Cup five years in succession with a mare named Maybe II but this is my first with this mare here. I came across her by accident, I got a phonecall from David Tatlow to tell me that Daphne Tierney was reducing some of her mares. They sent me over a couple of photos and a video and she was bought sight unseen in January.

“She’s in foal to a horse in England called Future Gravitas. She’s got a big outlook, big mover and she likes the limelight!” he said about the six-year-old grey, bred in Co Wexford by MJ Kavanagh.

By the KWPN sire Silvano out of a Ringfort Cruise-Coille Mor Hill dam, Pink Flamingo won her class ahead of another extravagant-moving grey: Paul Cleary’s Lady Fassagh, shown by Lorcan Glynn.

Champion here three years ago, the Porsch-Crosstown Dancer mare followed Pink Flamingo all the way home in the Coote Cup finale, adding the reserve title this year.

“She’s in foal to Good Luck VDL this year and Lorcan? Top man!,” commented Paul.

Also through to the broodmare championship, judged by Jane Holderness-Roddam, a Burghley and two-time Badminton winner, alongside John Newborough, were the top two from the other Plusvital-sponsored mare classes.

Paula Howard’s Dernahatten Out Of Touch, by the thoroughbred Bienamado and Derry Rothwell’s Crosstown Dancer daughter Greenhall Wishing Well took the red and blue ribbons in the opening middle/heavyweight broodmare classes.

“After two long Covid years, my mare returned to Ring 1 and won her class! Joy unconfined, sheer bliss, feet have yet to touch the ground!” remarked a delighted Paula.

The two contenders from the lightweight classes were William and Teresa Williamson’s Ballard Jewel and John Roche’s Assagart Fairytale, by Coroner. Yet another Covid buy, yet another one to bow out at Dublin, Ballard Jewel’s win was special for the West Cork family.

“We said the night before that whatever happens Dad and I will enjoy being in the ring together with our own animals so to win such a good class was a dream come true,” said son Aidan.

“She just lit up in there, took hold of the bridle and said, ‘Come on, let’s go!” She won the all Ireland filly foal final in 2008, took 13 years off and comes back to win and retire in Dublin,” he added about the Ghareeb-Abdullah bay, bred by Seamus Lehane.

Daly double

The thoroughbred-sired foal class flipped back to Saturday morning this year and winning owner Declan Daly added the €3,000 first prize here to his win in the opening colt class, ahead of Anthony Gill’s Colandro colt.

Champion foal at Bannow & Rathangan on his second outing this summer, the winner is by Zebediah out of the Brookfield Floating Lux mare Floating Valley. Second in the thoroughbred-sired class went to Kieran O’Gorman, who bred Brookfield Floating Lux, with one by his own stallion Munther.

After lengthy deliberation, the filly foal class was won by Danielle and Louise Cusack’s Brittas Lady Grace ahead of Patrick Wafer’s Parkmore Tyra. The winner is by the traditionally bred Clonaslee Captain Cristo out of the Ramiro B mare Hallowberry Destiny, third in the opening mare class, while the same combination were second in the eventing section of The Irish Field Breeders’ Championship the previous day.

Again, the Saturday foal classes lack an overall championship, as is provided for the Irish Draught foal classes, but the morning belonged to a big-moving Pink Flamingo and the showman from Dromara.